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The Parables #29

Parable of the Fishing Net, Matthew 13:47-50, continued.

THERE WERE GOOD AND BAD FISH IN THE NET.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind,” verse 47.

The word “again” indicates just how keen the Lord is to get this truth across to His hearers. He would have understand the truth concerning His kingdom.

1. Notice the fishing ends when the net is full. “Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, ” verse 48. The Saviour said to Paul on one occasion.: “For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city,” Acts 18:10. See John 10:16; Acts 15:14. The Saviour is seeking to ‘catch’ in the gospel net a certain people, His elect. “God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name,” Acts 15:14. They come from the deepest and darkest places. Out of such the Lord draws many sinners. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,” 1 Cor 6:9-11. Not until the net is full will gospel fishing end in this age!

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The Parables #28

Parable of the Fishing Net, Matthew 13:47-50, continued.

THOSE CAUGHT IN THE NET WERE BROUGHT UP TO A VERY DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT.

It was a world of light and beauty and the warming rays of the sun.

1. It is a world which the fish hate. It is absolutely contrary to their nature! Likewise, the sinner does not like the light and brightness of the gospel. “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:20.

2. It is a world in which they cannot live. The fish will die out of water. We use a proverb of one who is uncomfortable with his surroundings as “a fish out of water”! So was Judas. “Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place,” Acts 1:25. That is where sinners are travelling every day! The environment of Christ’s Kingdom is unbearable to them. “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity,” Matt 7:23. They must depart for they never came to Him. They were continuing to work iniquity therefore they were to continue on the path they had walked, which ends in hell. “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels,” Matt 25:41.

3. The good fish were those that could be eaten. They were useful and beneficial. To become such they had to be greatly worked upon and altered. So it is with sinners. What happens to the fish caught and used as food illustrates the workings of grace in the sinner saved.

A. It dies. “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Roms 6:2, 1 Peter 2:24.

B. It undergoes a process. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” John 3:3.

C. They became most profitable and beneficial. Saul into Paul. Man of Gadara into messenger of God. What a change grace makes! “Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me,” Philemon 1:11. “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy,” 1 Peter 2:10

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The Parables #27

Parable of the Fishing Net, Matthew 13:47-50.

We come to another parable today, comprising only 4 verses. Please remember that such is the infinite wisdom of our Saviour that in a few words He can impart immeasurable instruction and teaching.

This the 7th parable He spoke at this time. They proved beneficial when we compare verses 36 and  51. They were growing in understanding!

How familiar to the Saviour’s hearers was such a scenes as is his depicted in this latest, the seventh parable. Verse 2 tells us that “great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.” However, in verse 36 it says: “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house.” The multitude has gone but the disciples that remained with Him would have been very familiar with the substance of this new parable. Many were fishermen and who benefitted from the labours of fishermen.

Here the Saviour speaks of the fisherman’s net. Oh what heavenly teaching is to found in the pictures presented by nature all around us!

The parable depicts the working of God’s word through the gospel. The Saviour told the disciples: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” Matthew 4:18-19. The net in this parable is the net used by the Saviour’s ‘fishermen’ when they preach the gospel.

I. THE ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH THE NET DOES ITS WORK
“The sea” the place into which the net was cast was a deep, dark and cold place!
Such is this world in which sinful men dwell. That is the environment in which fish are at home, far down in the deep darkness of the sea!

1. God calls the seas “the deep”. Genesis 7:11.
2. Again, the world is a dark place. Pro 2:12-15. Ephs 5:8.
3. It is a cold place. Little warmth of kindness. “The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.” Psa 74:20.

Those of you who are saved, that is where you once dwelt.
If you who are not saved, that is where you are still!
May the Lord open your eyes to see your lost and sinful state.

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The Parables #26

There is a day of recompense – continued

It is at the coming again of Christ. Matt 24:30-31. At Christ’s return, angels sent forth to reap the harvest,  Matt 13.41.

The harvest is at the end of the age. In verses 38 and 39 is the word ‘world’. But the underlying Greek word is different. One refers to the ‘kosmos’, which refers to creation, the universe. This is the word in verse 38.

The other word is in verse 39. It is a different Greek word. It is ‘aion’. It refers to a period of time. We speak of the ‘aeons of eternity’.

Consider its first appearance in the NT. Matt 6:13 “for ever.” Our word is translated ‘ever’. That is a reference to the period of eternity. Another appearance in Eph 2:7: “The ages,” Our word is the word ‘ages’. So it is in our verse 39. “The harvest is the end of the age.”

It is to be noted that the wicked are dealt with first of all. Verse 41. It is believed by some that the saints will be gathered out from the world secretly 31/2 years before the visible return of Christ in power and glory. This shows it is not so.

What a terrible contrast in the destination of those who shared so much in life. THE WICKED – “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them.”  THE SAINTS – “but gather the wheat into my barn,” Matthew 13:30.

“Let both grow together,” verse 30. Unique word, only appears here. Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, Judas & other apostles. Together yet so far apart! Totally different natures  – one BORN AGAIN, a NEW NATURE, 2 Cor 5:17. “ . . . he is a new creature.”

It is Christ’s kingdom that these activities are centred upon. “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity,” Matthew 13:41. His KINGDOM is IN the world. Sinners may profess to belong. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, . . . . . .  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity,” Matthew 7:22-23.

This purging of wicked professors is in preparation for the new age – The Millennial Reign of Christ.

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The Parables #25

BECAUSE WE ARE THE  PEOPLE OF GOD WE ARE THE TARGET OF THE DEVIL. . . . . Continued.

There is a day of recompense. “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear,” Matthew 13:39-43.

How terrible will be the punishment of the wicked!

“His angels, . . . shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” There is no exaggeration in God’s words.

How wonderfully will be the reward of the righteous!

“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”

This is mentioned in many places. Here are two.

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever,” Daniel 12:1-3.

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself,” Philippians 3:20-21.

What a change!! It will according to His almighty power and we shall be “like Him.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:1-2.

May we keep this ever before our eyes that it might impact upon our walk.

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